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What side effects can you get from Viagra?

The list of side effects linked to the Viagra pill is long, and can look overwhelming at first. We’re here to guide you through so that you feel confident in your decision to tackle your ED with Viagra.

So if you’re wondering what the side effects of sildenafil for ED are, then we’ll get right to it.

Viagra contains the active ingredient sildenafil citrate, which is a PDE5 inhibitor. This group of medications has been linked to side effects that can affect blood pressure.

A slight rise or fall in blood pressure is not usually something to worry about, as long as your blood pressure returns to normal after the drug has worn off (normally after four hours).

However, some men taking sildenafil may already have low blood pressure or be using blood pressure regulating medication. This is when things could get a little complicated and that’s why it’s very important to tell the prescriber what medication you’re taking and what’s going on with your health.

  • Common Sildenafil side effects
  • Uncommon Sildenafil side effects
  • Rare Sildenafil side effects

Common side effects may affect up to 1 in 10 people.

  • Nausea (feeling sick)
  • Facial flushing (where your face turns red)
  • Hot flash (a sudden feeling of heat in your upper body)
  • Indigestion (this could feel like heartburn or bloating)
  • Color change to vision
  • Blurred vision
  • Visual disturbance
  • Stuffy nose
  • Dizziness

Uncommon side effects may affect up to 1 in 100 people. These include:

  • Vomiting
  • Skin rash
  • Eye irritation
  • Bloodshot eyes/red eyes
  • Eye pain
  • Seeing flashes of light
  • Visual brightness
  • Light sensitivity
  • Watery eyes
  • Pounding heartbeat
  • Rapid heartbeat
  • High blood pressure
  • Low blood pressure
  • Muscle pain
  • Feeling sleepy
  • Reduced sense of touch
  • Vertigo
  • Ringing in the ears (tinnitus)
  • Dry mouth
  • Blocked or stuffy sinuses
  • Inflammation of the lining of the nose (symptoms include runny nose, sneezing and stuffy nose)
  • Upper abdominal pain,
  • Gastro-esophageal reflux disease (symptoms include heartburn)
  • Blood in urine
  • Pain in the arms or legs
  • Nosebleed
  • Feeling hot
  • Feeling tired

Rare side effects may affect up to 1 in 1,000 people, and include:

  • Fainting
  • Stroke
  • Heart attack
  • Irregular heartbeat
  • Temporary decreased blood flow to parts of the brain
  • Feeling of tightening of the throat
  • Numb mouth
  • Bleeding at the back of the eye
  • Double vision
  • Reduced sharpness of vision
  • Abnormal sensation in the eye
  • Swelling of the eye or eyelid
  • Small particles or spots in your vision
  • Seeing halos around lights
  • Dilation of the pupil of the eye
  • Discoloration of the white of the eye
  • Penile bleeding
  • Presence of blood in semen
  • Dry nose
  • Swelling of the inside of the nose
  • Feeling irritable
  • Sudden decrease or loss of hearing

What to do about a Viagra headache

Getting a headache when you take Viagra is a very common side effect. This means that it can affect more than one in ten people. For some people their headache symptoms may be mild and therefore tolerable and so they can continue to take their medication.

If you notice headache symptoms, you can try to counter them by drinking plenty of water before and after you take your Viagra pill.

Can Viagra cause a heart attack?

Viagra should never be taken alongside nitrates, such as glyceryl trinitrate spray (GTN) or isosorbide mononitrate, as it can result in a significant hypotensive event or a heart attack. Anyone who is taking nitrates should be made aware of the very dangerous and life threatening effect they could have if mixed with sildenafil.

If you use Viagra and experience chest pain either during or after having sex, you should seek medical attention or dial 999.

Other Viagra side effects that may be serious

Let’s take a look at some other serious side effects:

  • Allergic reactions. These could cause symptoms of wheezing; dizziness; swollen face, eyelids, lips or throat; and breathlessness. Anaphylaxis or severe allergic reactions need immediate medical attention. If you have known allergies then you should inform the prescriber and study the ingredient list.
  • Priapism or a prolonged erection can also be dangerous. If you have a painful erection or one that lasts for longer than four hours then you need to go to the hospital.

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Are there any long term side effects of Viagra?

In most cases, any side effects that can occur when you take Viagra or Sildenafil will ease off once the medication is out of your system. But some of the more serious (and rare) sildenafil side effects can have long-term implications.

For example: priapism can permanently damage cells in the penis if it isn’t treated swiftly. So if you find yourself with an erection that lasts for longer than four hours, get yourself to a hospital urgently.

Also, Men who have genetic eye conditions like retinitis pigmentosa should not take Viagra, as it can lead to further permanent vision problems.

Can my partner get side effects from Viagra?

It’s highly unlikely that your partner will experience side effects if you’re taking Viagra.

If you have unprotected intercourse with a female partner then they could, of course, become pregnant. There have been studies looking at the impact of Viagra on male fertility, one study concluded that sildenafil did not impact sperm function or quality.

If you’re taking Viagra and have concerns about fertility, you should speak to your doctor.

Should I see a doctor about Sildenafil side effects?

It’s a good idea to let your prescriber know if you experience any side effects when taking a medication. This means that your experience of Viagra symptoms can be recorded and reported to the FDA.

Your doctor can talk through the symptoms you’re experiencing and check whether you’re comfortable to continue with your prescription or whether any changes should be made.

In some cases, your dosage of Viagra can be lowered to try and reduce side effects. (Sometimes it’s just a case of striking the right balance.)

What Viagra side effects you need to go to a hospital with

You should go to hospital if you develop chest pain, heartbeat changes, visual problems or a prolonged erection. Don’t take any more Viagra and avoid doing anything physically exertive (which includes having sex).

Can I lower my risk of side effects on Viagra?

If you’re concerned about potential side effects when taking Viagra, there are some steps you can take to keep your risk as low as possible. To do this, you need to disclose your past medical history to the prescriber, including any health conditions and any medication you are taking or have recently taken.

It’s also important to follow the medication instructions closely and to familiarize yourself with the patient information leaflet.

If your initial Viagra dosage causes side effects, then your doctor may consider reducing the dosage. A lower dosage means less of the active ingredient and thus a reduced chance of developing side effects. The lower dose is less potent but can still work effectively for a lot of men.

If side effects are causing you a problem then it is definitely worth exploring the lower dose Viagra, but you need to speak to your doctor before doing so.

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